AT&T Inc. plans to buy a bit more than 25 percent of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. for $3.5 billion, the Times of India newspaper reported today, without saying where it got the information.
The deal may be the largest foreign direct investment in India and would value the yet-to-start telecommunications company at $14 billion, the report said.
Tushar Pania, a spokesman for Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd., declined to comment on the report to Bloomberg News. Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T in Atlanta, also declined to comment.
Production from the KG-D6 block in the Bay of Bengal, India’s biggest natural gas deposit, has been falling for more than two years, leading to declines in profit at Mumbai-based Reliance in four of the last five quarters. Reliance, which owns the world’s largest oil refining complex, is trying to raise its revenue by diversifying.
Reliance Jio plans to break even and become India’s biggest telecommunications company within three years of starting its services, according to the report.